Discussion

Those in Opposition to SOPA/PIPA created videos like this to promote awareness of their position:

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Political Contributions of over $1mil to Legislators who
SUPPORT SOPA/PIPA:

Attorneys & law firms: $28,115,918
Physicians: $9,303,544
Building trades unions: $7,845,079
Pharmaceutical manufacturing: $6,425,593
Cable & satellite TV production & distribution: $4,465,139
Industrial/commercial equipment & materials: $4,241,321
Credit agencies & finance companies: $2,609,712
Civil servant/public employee: $2,319,476
Chemicals: $2,260,227
Department, variety & convenience stores: $1,953,502
IBEW (Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers): $1,699,521
Book, newspaper & periodical publishing: $1,604,379
Commercial TV & radio stations: $1,494,575
Tobacco & Tobacco products: $1,471,581
Other non-physician health practitioners: $1,405,197
Teamsters union: $1,388,700
Management consultants & services: $1,369,483
Police & firefighters unions & associations: $1,330,780
Electronics manufacturing & services: $1,169,178
Computers, components & accessories: $1,099,121
Biotech products & research: $1,068,198
Hotels & motels: $1,022,507

Total amounts including contributions
of less than $1mil: $109,962,211

 

 

Political Contributions of over $1mil to Legislators 
who OPPOSE SOPA/PIPA:

Schools & colleges: $3,403,715
Democratic/Liberal: $2,382,108
Venture capital: $1,748,342
Banks & lending institutions: $1,429,754
Data processing & computer services: $1,323,585
Environmental policy: $1,046,825

Total amounts including contributions
of less than$1mil: $12,221,765

Source: maplight.org

Fresh Efforts are Made at Stronger Copyright Protections
  • Jan: The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN Act) is introduced in the House. Twitter, Google, Facebook and other major tech companies support the act.
  • Jan. 12: Reddit confirms Jan. 18 blackout after calls from their user community.
  • Jan. 18: Internet activist against SOPA hold an internet blackout which causes 70 legislators to switch to opposition of SOPA overnight.
  • Jan. 19: Megaupload, a file-storing and sharing service, is shut down by the federal government.
  • Feb. 28: Gambling site bodog.com is seized by Homeland Security and it's domain is redirected by Verisign as per a federal warrant.

The internet backlash against PIPA and SOPA has carried strongly into the new year, with suggestions to push back against rightsholders and reduce the power of copyrights showing up regularly. 

However, the case against Megaupload and the use of federal warrants to sieze dot-com domains through Verisign has shown that the government is already willing and able to extend its reach to international registrars, regardless of any possible future legislation. 

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/202627-twitter-facebook-and-google-endorse-alternate-online-piracy-bill?page=2#comments http://blog2.easydns.org/2012/02/29/verisign-seizes-com-domain-registered-via-foreign-registrar-on-behalf-of-us-authorities/ http://www.propublica.org/nerds/item/sopa-opera-which-legislators-support-sopa-and-pipa http://techland.time.com/2012/01/12/sopa-reddit-confirms-january-18-blackout-wikipedia-and-others-may-follow/
PIPA and SOPA are Developed in Congress, Only to Collapse Under Wave of Internet Activism
  • May: The PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA) is introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy with eleven co-sponsors.
  • Sep. 8: Directors Guild of America, supporters of SOPA, distribute letters exchanged between SOPA co-sponsor Berman and US State Secretary, Hillary Clinton. Berman asks Clinton if the State Department's focus on pushing Internet Freedoms worldwide is consistent with a policy of protecting intellectual property rights.
  • Oct. 25: In a letter from Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton to SOPA Co-Sponsor Representative Berman, Clinton says that "There is no contradiction between intellectual property rights protections and enforcement and ensuring freedom of expression on the Internet."
  • Early Nov: Early reports start showing overwhelming disapproval from the tech sector against SOPA/PIPA. Additionally, critics reveal that SOPA would not be able to distinguish between
  • Nov. 14: Electronic Frontier Foundation expresses concerns against SOPA, and is denied request to stream House Judiciary Hearings.
  • Nov. 15: 60 civil and human rights organizations write letters to Congress in opposition to SOPA/PIPA.
  • Nov. 15: Mozilla, AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo! and Zynga write a joint letter to Congress opposing SOPA.
  • Nov. 16: Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) comes out with a press release warning against the collateral damage to innovation from SOPA.
  • Nov. 16: House Judiciary Committee holds SOPA Hearing partial to those in favor of SOPA, while denying those representing the tech sector in opposition to SOPA - analysis at Maplight.org report that supporters of SOPA have given four times more money to members of congress than those who oppose it.
  • Dec. 8: Senate Legislators Amend SOPA to appease opposition (Called OPEN, or the Online Protection and Enforcement Act). It would allow rights holders to ask US International Trade Commission to enforce current laws by targeting law-breakers, instead of third party websites.
  • Dec. 9: Those supporting SOPA don't like OPEN as they feel it doesn't go far enough to protect against online piracy.
  • Dec. 13: CEA, Public Knowledge and NetCoalition all voice opposition to OPEN.
  • Dec. 18: Tech Investors come out in Opposition to SOPA.
  • Dec. 22: GoDaddy.com faces boycott calls from Reddit, proposing changing domains on Dec. 29, which lead to a loss of 72,000 domains.

Early in the year, legislation is introduced with strong support from the entertainment industry, labor and retail. These groups end up outspending those in opposition 9 to 1 ($109.9mil to $12.2mil). As the year progresses, those in opposition overwhelmingly feel shut out from the legislature, as they are denied access to initial house judiciary hearings, and streaming of the hearings is denied. Despite a call for compromise with the SOPA-amendment, OPEN, internet activist from sites like Reddit, start calling for an internet protest against those who support SOPA, such as GoDaddy.com. The internet activism culminates on Jan 18th with a protest of an internet blackout, with strong support from the tech industry, influencing 70 legislators to switch from support to opposition of SOPA/PIPA.

Nov. 3: The Council of Better Business Bureaus join the list of organizations supporting SOPA/PIPA.

Nov. 18: The European Parliment adopt a resolution to criticize SOPA and they stressed "the need to protect the integrity of the global Internet and freedom of communication by refraining from unilateral measures to revoke IP addresses or domain names." - the resolution however, is not forwarded to the European Commisison summit on Nov. 28, which hold leaders of US Congress.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13387795 http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/243200/debate_on_new_copyright_enforcement_bill_heats_up.html http://www.ce.org/Press/CurrentNews/press_release_detail.asp?id=12216 http://www.bioportfolio.com/news/pdf/853240/Stop-Online-Piracy-Act-sopa-Fails-To-Distinguish-rogue-From-real-International.pdf http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/243200/debate_on_new_copyright_enforcement_bill_heats_up.html http://blog.copyrightalliance.org/2011/11/a-word-from-the-better-business-bureau/ http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/244247/european_parliament_joins_criticism_of_sopa.html http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111110/13455416712/house-judiciary-committee-refuses-to-hear-wider-tech-industry-concerns-about-sopa.shtml http://blog.mozilla.com/blog/2011/11/15/mozilla/ http://www.readwriteweb.com/cloud/2011/11/hollywood-and-congress-target.php http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57339611-38/lawmakers-unveil-sensible-alternative-to-sopa/ http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/12/09/sopa-2/ http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/246146/groups_still_oppose_sopa_after_proposed_amendment.html http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_162-57348448-501465/sopa-supporters-facing-boycotts-thanks-to-reddit/
ACTA is Completed, COICA is Brought Before Congress
  • September: The Combating Online Infringement and Countefeits Act is introduced in the Senate.
  • November: Final text of ACTA released. Senator Wyden vows to prevent COICA from coming to vote, effectively killing it.
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/83999/20101119/oregon-senator-opposes-bill-to-block-sites.htm
As the Decade Nears its End, IP Gains Importance in Washington
  • 2000 - 2007: A variety of bills were introduced or written that would have increased the control of rightsholders in various ways, such as the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act and the Digital Transition Content Security Act; none of them passed.
  • 2007: The US, EU and Japan begin work on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). They are joined by several other countries in 2008. Work on the treaty was kept secret as a matter of “national security”. This served largely to draw additional attention when drafts or related documents ended up being leaked.
  • May 2007: The Copyright alliance forms to act on behalf of the entertainment industry - which would lead promotion of SOPA.
  • 2008: The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO-IP Act) is passed. The act increased penalties, increased the capabilities of law enforcement, created a new “czar” position to oversee enforcement and agency cooperation, and provided additional funding for law enforcement and educational efforts.

Efforts to increase the strength and reach of digital copyright law continued throughout the decade. Little success was had until it was considered in tandem with physical product IP and counterfeiting protection, as in the cases of ACTA and COICA. Meanwhile, business models were transformed heavily with the rise of iTunes, Netflix, Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, digital radio, and others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSSCA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Transition_Content_Security_Act https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2005/12/lump-coal-consumers-analog-hole-bill-introduced http://www.keionline.org/blogs/2009/03/13/who-are-cleared-advisors http://www.bonelaw.com/pdfs/Landslide-Jan-Feb-09-Zralek.pdf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRO-IP_Act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Office_of_the_President http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10423.pdf http://www.copyrightalliance.org/content.php?key=about_us
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is Created
  • 1993: The web begins to grow with the first release of a graphical web browser.
  • 1996: The UN's World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) creates the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. The treaty is adopted by the member states in December.
  • 1998: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton. The bill extended the reach of copyright law extensively. See: Key Terms - DMCA.
  • 1999: Napster is released. While file sharing was possible long prior to this, Napster brought it to the masses with a simple interface, robust network, and singular focus on music.

The rise of the internet and especially the web had a tremendous impact on intellectual property matters. Napster demonstrated the tremedous efficiency the internet provided in illegally obtaining and sharing copyrighted material. Prior efforts at piracy had always had to deal with physical limitations, which impeded their efficiency. 

The DMCA was implemented to give rightsholders better means to combat infringement. For privacy advocates, it went too far; for rightsholders, it didn't go far enough. Much of today's legislation related to intellectual property and copyright seeks to further expand the capabilities rightsholders have to combat piracy. 

The DMCA made it illegal not just to duplicate a copyrighted work, but illegal to interfere with any copy protection software/DRM that the work has. (This lead directly to problems with security research, as well as the issues over DeCSS/DVD John.) See What colour are your bits? For additional insight into the problems with DRM and copy protection on computer systems.

http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/wppt/trtdocs_wo034.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster http://brainz.org/dmca-takedown-101/ http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmca
SOPA/PIPA
  • Stop Online Piracy Act- introduced to the House in 2011 (PIPA in the Senate), this Act would allow US government agencies, such as the FBI, to seek out legal injunctions against non-domestic websites and domain names that proliferate illegally acquired intellectual property created by US companies or individuals. This Act could also allow for prosecution against third-parties that allow or promote piracy on other, separate sites.

The fight against SOPA became highly publicized by a cyber protest held by a number of websites including Google, Craigslist, Reddit, Wikipedia, Tumblr among others on Jan. 18, 2012. The protest influenced 70 legislators to switch their position on SOPA/PIPA to oppose the legislation overnight. 

  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-tech/post/house-introduces-internet-piracy-bill/2011/10/26/gIQA0f5xJM_blog.html
  • http://www.propublica.org/nerds/item/sopa-opera-update
E-PARASITE
  • Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation Act (formerly PIPA)- this is a revision of previous attempted legislation that seeks to increase penalties and ease at prosecuting copyright infringers introduced to the Senate in 2011. It does not, however, change existing copyright and trademark laws.
  • http://thenextweb.com/insider/2011/11/02/protect-ip-e-parasite-and-the-impending-us-internet-firewall/
PROTECT-IP
  • PIPA or Protecting Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011. This Act allows the Attorney General of the US to take action against any non-domestic domain name or Internet site accessing a non-domestic domain name “dedicated to infringing activities.” Allows additional ways to curb copyright infringement especially to sites registered non-domestically.This is a re-write of the previous COICA and was introduced in the House of Representatives.
  • http://www.leahy.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/BillText-PROTECTIPAct.pdf
COICA
  • Combating Online Infringement and Copyrights Act of 2010- would authorize the Attorney General to take action against domain names that are “dedicated to infringing activities.” Effectively allows the U.S. Government to implement orders against any site it deems is proliferating copyrighted materials illegally domestically or non-domestically (especially if non-domestically for US citizen gain). Did not go to Congressional vote.
  • http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-3804&tab=summary
ACTA
  • Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement- designed to increase enforcement of intellectual property rights enforcement and to increase the legal framework to combat illegal trading of large-scale trading of counterfeit and pirated content.
  • http://www.ustr.gov/acta
PRO-IP
  • Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act- passed in 2007, this Act increases already in place penalties for infringement of copyrights and trademarks. This act also created the office of the USIPER- the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative.
  • http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2007/12/congress-copyright-reform-seize-computers-boost-penalties-spend-money.ars
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act- passed in 1998, it is the culmination of two international treaties signed two years prior at the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty that would criminalize any distribution of software, devices, or technology services that allow for users to circumvent security features that are designed to protect copyrighted works (measures such as DRM encryption).

The DMCA broke new ground as far as copyright protection. Prior laws made it illegal to copy protected works. The DMCA added to this, making it illegal to try to circumvent copy protection mechanisms, as well as illegal to aid or supply equipment or software to do so.

  • http://brainz.org/dmca-takedown-101/
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmca
  • http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/wppt/trtdocs_wo034.html

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